Key Characteristics

The breed is dual purpose, suitable for the table and a good layer and is not famed as a sitter. Being a hardy breed they are not prone to any of the common poultry conditions. It is one of the few breeds that thrive in the cold.  Birds are active foragers so need space to be free range. 


  • It is not known when Derbyshire Redcaps first existed as a specific localised breed, possibly sometime during the 18th century.
  • Redcaps were never used commercially on a large scale but remained popular on smallholdings around Derbyshire through to 1945, but then rapidly declined.
  • By 1960 the breed became very rare and club had closed down but it was restarted in 1976.
  • Unlike most modern breeds, the Redcap is particularly pure with very little crossing in its history.


  • Their main identifying feature is the rose comb.
  • The bird has a plumage ground colour which varies from orange to deep nut brown with body feathers ending in a half-moon spangle. 
  • The birds have black tails, horn-coloured beaks, red faces, lobes and wattles with slate coloured legs and feet.


Depending on the strain they produce 150-200 large white eggs per year. The birds are suitable for the table. The meat is white and is said to have a similar flavour to that of game birds.

Did you know?

Derbyshire Redcaps are known for their magnificent rose comb. The largest combs for the males are around 8.5cm x 7cm. All the head points together claim 45 of the total 100 judging points. The immense comb in particular, is what the exhibitors concentrate on. The comb should be carried level over the head and not overhang the eyes.

Breed Societies

Derbyshire Redcap Club